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Ann Biomed Eng. 2010 Oct;38(10):3102-11. doi: 10.1007/s10439-010-0079-2. Epub 2010 May 27.

Modeling radial viscoelastic behavior of left ventricle based on MRI tissue phase mapping.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.


The viscoelastic behavior of myocardial tissue is a measure that has recently found to be a deterministic factor in quality of contraction. Parameters imposing the viscoelastic behavior of the heart are influenced in part by sarcomere function and myocardial composition. Despite the overall agreement on significance of cardiac viscoelasticity, a practical model that can measure and characterize the viscoelastic behavior of the myocardial segments does not yet exist. Pressure-Volume (P-V) curves are currently the only measure for stiffness/compliance of the left ventricle. However, obtaining P-V curves requires invasive cardiac catheterization, and only provides qualitative information on how pressure and volume change with respect to each other. For accurate assessment of myocardial mechanical behavior, it is required to obtain quantitative measures for viscoelasticity. In this work, we have devised a model that yields myocardial elastic and viscous damping coefficient functions through the cardiac cycle. The required inputs for this model are kinematic information with respect to changes in LV short axes that were obtained by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) using a tissue phase mapping (TPM) pulse sequence. We evaluated viscoelastic coefficients of LV myocardium in two different age groups of 20-40 and greater than 60. We found that the magnitude of stiffness coefficients is noticeably greater in the older subjects. Additionally, we found that slope of viscous damping functions follow similar patterns for each individual age group. This method may shed light on dynamics of contraction through MRI in conditions where composition of myocardium is changed such as in aging, adverse remodeling, and cardiomyopathies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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